The Scream, one of the most recognisable paintings of all time, is expected to fetch more than $80m when it goes under the hammer this spring.
The only version of Edvard Munch's iconic painting left in private hands will lead a sale at Sotheby's in New York in May as the market for big-name artists shows no sign of receding.
Philip Hook, Senior Specialist in Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby's, said: "This is one of the most important works of modern art we have ever sold."
Sotheby's believes that 'The Scream' may be second only to the 'Mona Lisa' as one of the most recognisable works of art, and points out that it has influenced Andy Warhol and 'The Simpsons'.
Munch painted this version of 'The Scream' in 1895 as the central part of his Frieze of Life series.
Sotheby's said that accurately valuing the painting was difficult because it was rare that "true icons" came to the market.
Sotheby's currently holds the record for a Munch sale when the work 'Vampire' was bought for $38.1m (?28.8m) in New York in 2008.
The art market has this year shrugged off the gloom enveloping the wider economy. In a series of auctions in London, works by artists including Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko raised tens of million of pounds.
(© Independent News Service)